(Reuters) — European self-driving car company Vedecom Tech and Israel’s Karamba Security said on Monday they are partnering in developing fully autonomous cars that will be deployed for limited use in certain European cities within the coming year.
Vedecom Tech says the completely autonomous vehicles will be launched for commercial use in late 2017 and in 2018 by municipalities in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands.
Karamba’s systems will protect the car from possible cyber attacks on external communications between vehicles and surrounding infrastructure, as well as the car’s internal electronics.
“This marks the industry’s first production of cyberattack-secured, commercially-available automobiles,” the companies said in a statement.
Vedecom Tech is a commercial subsidiary of Vedecom Public Foundation, whose members include Renault, Peugeot and Valeo.
The first vehicles will be deployed in Versaille, said David Barzilai, Karamba’s executive chairman. They will be “short-haul” cars available for tourists and will drive on about 7 km (4 miles) of specially assigned lanes, he told Reuters.
Fully self-driving vehicles are not expected to be widely available until at least 2021, but carmakers are already offering a variety of semi-autonomous driver assistance systems, such as Tesla’s Autopilot system.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)